Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown W

M. Butterfly

From 331 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Disappointing

About the show

David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning play comes back to Broadway in a new production directed by Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor and starring Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Clive Owen. More…

David Henry Hwang’s modern classic, 'M. Butterfly' charts the scandalous romance between a married French diplomat and a mysterious Chinese opera singer – a remarkable love story of international espionage and personal betrayal. Their 20-year relationship pushed and blurred the boundaries between male and female, East and West – while redefining the nature of love and the devastating cost of deceit. For the Tony Award-winning play’s first Broadway return, Hwang will introduce new material inspired by the real-life love affair between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Chinese opera singer Shi Pei Pu that has come to light since the play’s 1988 premiere.

2h 0m | Already closed | Cort Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (331)


Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Disappointing
Avg Score

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy complex plots and terrific performances and a play that makes you think and question.

Don't see it if you’re looking for stage magic from Julie Taymor - it didn’t happen here.

Also This seemed like an entirely different play from the original.

Dated, Great writing, Indulgent, Great staging, Disappointing

See it if you want to see Taymor restrain herself, nuanced meditation on geopolitics by way of gender/racial politics

Don't see it if offended by nudity. bored of hollywood types breezing into Broadway.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting

See it if mesmerising staging and great performances. I loved the chinese opera and Maoist opera sequences.

Don't see it if not for homophobes. not for people who have trans gender issues. also, chinese opera sequences are very dissonant.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you haven't seen this very good play staged before; you are interested in exploring the East vs West dynamic in a ever relevant way

Don't see it if you think Clive Owen is too "attractive" to play an awkward character; you dislike nudity

Banal, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Insipid

See it if You like Julie Taylor doing her superficial thing

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a wonderful play trivialized with all the layers taken away

Great acting, Absorbing, Intense

See it if Are a fan of Clive Owen. Loved the original and are willing to see a new, fresh version. Enjoy well-acted drama.

Don't see it if You are a purist who loved the original production and do not want to see major changes and updates to the script.

Also The music and dance portions of the show felt a little contrived and n... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Clive Owen is amazing. His voice and stage presence carry the show well and Jin Ha is strongly convincing in the role.

Don't see it if The production tries to be inventive and it fails at times, but overall the show is about Clive. See it if a fan.

Dated, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you want terrific acting and don't mind an overworked script - it feels somehow both terribly dated and terribly relevant.

Don't see it if you're hoping for another 'Lion King' from Taymor - the design is the weakest part of the production.

Also The set truly looks like butt.

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You want a good day at the theatre. Appreciate how unique sets add to a thought provoking story. Engrossing

Don't see it if You do not like surprises.

Dated, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Intelligent

See it if If you enjoy making interpretations between theater and opera productions.

Don't see it if I feel this is another production that should not have been revived.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid

See it if You like Clive Owen and enjoy lovely sets and good acting by some of the secondary performers.

Don't see it if this show was very disappointing .I was unmoved and felt that it was tepid at best.

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you want to see a sharp and biting critique on imperialism, fetish, and delusion

Don't see it if you don't want to be challenged; you love beautiful and cohesive sets

Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious, Disappointing2

See it if You are curious about the show and have a good discount.

Don't see it if You loved the original, you don't want to potentially waste $. Just is not well done overall. The few nice moments don't make up for it.

Must see, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if want to watch great acting and a great play..

Don't see it if do not like drama..

Slow, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You’re a fan of Clive Owen, he is pretty much this entire show. You want to an interesting story about American-Asian culture.

Don't see it if You have no interest in the story and are expecting a “Julie Taymore” style show, it does not show here. The set also could have been better

Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in the topic of gender/gender fluidity. You love Clive Owen-he's brilliant in this! You like stories based on real events

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with gender fluidity. You are not able to suspend belief. You don't care for serious plays.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if The show's leads are outstanding, the production is staged beautifully and the story is interesting.

Don't see it if You are offended by nudity or men kissing. Definitely an adult show.


See it if you want to see an incredible performances from the lead actors.

Don't see it if you want an easy-to-follow plot. The deception involved in the show can be confusing for viewers. The staging is clunky.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you enjoy Clive Owen, and stories with unique and interesting relationship.

Don't see it if you want a new and interesting take on M. Butterfly, and want elaborate sets.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if Your interested in unique love story that is insightful critique of Western arrogance . Moments that are not always smooth but still work.

Don't see it if you have a conservative view on a love story or looking for fast paced, highly comedic play.

Also Wonderful performances but there transitions that are slightly clunky ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Raunchy

See it if you are interested in a remaking of a show and are a big fan of Clive Owens.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with homosexuality, nudity and listening to soliloquys.

Intelligent, Absorbing, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You are interested in the genre. Very effective story telling & staging. Even if you’re not familiar w/ the story, still a good show to see.

Don't see it if You don’t like or are sensitive to homosexuality or racial appropriation. Don’t see it if you don’t like to see nudity, both male & female.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate masterful acting, you enjoy shows that make you think about stereotypes and perceptions

Don't see it if You voted for Trump, you like happy endings

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Profound

See it if you enjoy Julie Taymor's direction and some GREAT performances from Jin Ha and Clive Owen.

Don't see it if you're squirmy with nudity or violence.

Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Great staging, Relevant

See it if Love Clive Owens, great sets, history, uniqueness, interesting music, creative thinking, Asian stories, open minded, plot twists

Don't see it if You like straight forward plays, close minded, dislike plays about culture&history, you like only American stories, plays w/sexual content

October 26th, 2017
"'M. Butterfly' returns to Broadway on heavier, drabber wings...Hwang more than implicitly compares Gallimard’s dim vision regarding his love object to the unrealistic beliefs that Western countries hold about the East...For 'M. Butterfly' to have emotional impact, it must make its audiences unea...
read more
October 26th, 2017
"'M. Butterfly' remains provocative and timely, with a great deal to unpack—in part because Hwang has stuffed it with new information...These changes help shift the storytelling away from symbolism and toward a more specific account of a particular relationship...Aside from lively dance sequences...
read more
October 26th, 2017
"Strangely uneven...Despite compelling performances by both leads—especially Ha—both play and production wander into clunkiness and confusion...Hwang and Taymor often struggle to convey the specific reality in which events are occurring...Hwang’s observations feel suspended—like little islands of...
read more
October 26th, 2017
"The bluntness and lack of poetry in Taymor's sluggish 'M. Butterfly' revival are no fault of the talented Jin Ha, who plays Song with an enigmatic air..Owen's dour Gallimard is more hamstrung by the production's approach...M. Butterfly remains a provocative drama...But in their counterintuitive ...
read more